Upon arrival, students are placed with Costa Rican families. As an integral part of the program, this home-stay experience facilitates language learning and active participation in the culture and society of Costa Rica.
ICADS host families have many years of experience hosting students, and they are ready to adopt you into Tico life! By being open to them and life at your Tica home, you will gain immeasurable insight into the Costa Rican reality.
Our host families provide private rooms, breakfast, dinner, and laundry service. Family placements are supervised by a housing coordinator who makes every effort to match the needs of each student with the reality of the host family.
Students will be advised of their Tica family placement within 2 weeks of the program start date, pending receipt of the deposit and family preferences document. ICADS recommends the homestay experience, however, for non-credit program participants, ICADS will assist in making alternative housing arrangements at local hotels, hostels, and/or apartments (prices vary).
Here is what students are saying about ICADS’ host families:
- «They try their best to make you feel at home, comfortable and happy. They are open to listening to you if you give them the chance to get to know you. I loved my mom! She was wonderful!» - Spanish student, May-June 2009, Piedmont College
- «It is intense at first, but the families go out of the way to make you feel comfortable. It is an experience you will never forget, and you will build lifelong relationships. It was a positive and amazing experience.» - Temple University Public Health Program student, June 2009
- «Living with a Tico homestay family is one of the absolute best experiences. You’ll never truly fall in love with the Tico culture without such an amazing experience.» - Independent Spanish student, Sept. 2009
- «It’s a very different but wonderful experience that shows you that materialistic possessions that are necessary in the U.S. aren’t that important. It’s a great experience!» - Kutztown University Spanish program student, May 2009
- «Living with a Costa Rican family really immersed me into the culture and language and was very beneficial.» - Spanish student, June 2009
- «If you make an effort to be congenial and integrate into the family, the family and their friends will not just accept you, but embrace you.» - Spanish student, June 2009
- «It’s the best once-in-a-lifetime experience!» - Spelman/Moorehouse Program student, May 2009
- «I would definitely recommend the host family experience to other students. I think that a student should leave their options open because if I had requested a family with dogs or kids I would have missed out on this experience. I truly felt like I connected with the entire family. And I feel very privileged to have met them.» - Daniel Pinto, Assistant Director of the International Programs Office, Rice University, May 2010 Spanish program.
ICADS strives to be an inclusive program, welcoming to students representing a broad range of diversity. We invite students of diverse sexual orientation and identity to apply for and participate in our programs. Our desire is to help all of our students understand the cultural identity of Central America, which often includes different expressions and understandings of gender, sexuality, and relationships.
We invite students to let us know in their homestay preferences if they’d prefer to live with a family that is supportive of LGBTQ students to help us best place our students in the most appropriate homestays and independent projects.
«My homestay experience was excellent. My host family involved me in everything they did and made me feel like a part of the family. I became close to all of them and felt so comfortable and welcomed by their extended family. I felt especially grateful for the guidance I received from my host mother.»
-ICADS Internship Program Student